Matric Marking Tariff Court Case

After waiting for several months the Labour Court last week delivered judgment in the Matric Marking Tariff case. The trade unions to the Education Labour Relations Council had approached the court because the Department of Basic Education had withdrawn from Collective Agreement 1 of 2011 which provided for the increase in the tariffs for matric markers.

Because the Labour Relation Act allows for the withdrawal of parties from collective agreements, under certain circumstances, the case focussed on whether or not the agreement was valid for the period between its implementation (7 April 2011) and the Employer’s withdrawal from the Agreement (17 March 2013).

Despite finding that the officials of the Department displayed incompetence and negligence in dealing with this matter the judge ruled that the Agreement was indeed invalid. The judge accepted the Employer’s evidence that the legal provision requiring the concurrence of the Minister of Finance in matters that have financial implications for the State had not been met, therefore rendering the agreement invalid.

The effect of the judgement is that educators who performed matric marker duties during the above-mentioned period will not be paid the higher tariff as provided for in Collective Agreement 1 of 2011.


Salary Increases: 1 April 2014

In terms of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2012 the salary increase on 1 April 2014 will be based on National Treasury’s average projected CPI for the 2014/15 financial year plus an additional 1%. The increase will further be affected by the difference between the average projected CPI for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 and the actual CPI for the same period. If the actual CPI is higher the difference will be added to the 1 April 2014 increase, but if it is lower it will be subtracted from the increase.

Neither National Treasury’s average projected CPI for the 2014/15 financial year nor the actual CPI for the 2013/14 financial year (the CPI for the last 3 months of the financial year must be awaited) is known at this stage. Pronouncements on what the increase for public servants on 1 April 2014 will be are therefore mere speculation and members are advised not to lend any weight to such pronouncements. As soon as the required information becomes available members will, as in the past, immediately be informed of the increases.